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The onion gets used a lot by way of analogy. If you’ve ever sliced into one, you know these bulbs have myriad layers. They can also bring you to tears. In this initial blog entry, we are offer the proposition that construction defect disputes are a lot like an onion.

Because of the many parties involved in the construction process there are many opportunities for disputes to develop. To be sure that the end product matches the specifications of the designer and the requirements of the local building code, multiple contracts are essential. Even then, issues arise. Whether you are the ultimate consumer or a service provider, you need to be confident about your legal options in the event of problems.

At the heart of nearly every construction litigation issue is an alleged defect and the typical claim falls into one of several categories: negligence, strict liability, and breach of contract or warranty. In certain situations, the claim might even be one of fraud or misrepresentation. The aim of the litigation is to identify the problem, assign liability and hold the appropriate party responsible for the remedy.

Considering that any given project can involve a developer, designer, engineers, general contractor, multiple subcontractors and government inspectors, you begin to see the appropriateness of the onion analogy.

And the layers don’t end there. Buildings of any kind are a compilation of many systems: structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and geologic. Any one of those elements can have any number of deficiencies, each of which can lead to unexpected problems.

Regardless of what role you may play in a construction defect claim, plan to consult an attorney who understands the complexities that can be involved.